Tuesday 19 May 2020

UIC’s Track & Structure sector has published two Guides for the execution and control of repairs for Masonry Arch Bridges: “Cleaning manual” and “Maintenance and replacement of existing masonry”

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You may remember our article published in eNews #682 in March 2020 (https://uic.org/com/uic-e-news/682/) announcing the release of the “Catalogue of damages in masonry arch bridges”. During the projects “Improving assessment, optimisation of maintenance and development of database for masonry arch bridges” and “Assessment of masonry arch bridges” UIC developed several background documents containing interesting detailed information on maintenance of this bridge type.

The Panel of Structural Experts (PoSE) decided in 2019 to publish selected background documents to give broader access to the most useful of these guides, providing further detailed information and guidance for masonry experts.

The “Cleaning Manual” gives comprehensive information on the defects on masonry that are suitable for removal by cleaning techniques. It then describes the advantages and disadvantages of each cleaning method, including also innovative methods like laser cleaning. Thus, it provides guidance for the selection of the most adequate method and also precious information to avoid damage of masonry by aggressive methods.

The “Guide on Maintenance and replacement of existing masonry” starts with a brief description of the deterioration processes in masonry. Adequate maintenance techniques which are able to stop evolution of damage, but which also improve the performance of the masonry against environmental aggression are described. For each of the methods the procedure, materials, technical specifications are explained, concluding by cautions and recommendations. Like the cleaning guide the document provides guidance for proper selection of methods to increase the life span of masonry arch bridges and thus improve sustainable asset management.

You can find the documents in the UIC ETF shop at the following link:


In case you missed the article in eNews #682, you can follow the link here to the “Damage catalogue”:

Furthermore, the second edition of IRS 70778-3 “Recommendations for the inspection, assessment and maintenance of masonry arch bridges” will be published soon. According to the decision of the Panel of Structural Experts it will be available in English, French and German.

For further information please contact Harald Sattler, Senior Infrastructure Advisor:


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Cover Cleaning guide
Cover Masonry works
Cover of damage catalogue